Saturday, March 05, 2005

Music & Art

Our on-line QuiltArt group has been discussing the pros & cons of playing music during workshop studio hours. While I haven't attended many workshops, I did take a 5-day course with David Walker in Bennington, VT where music was often played. David's music selection was extensive, of course, and clearly chosen to suppport creativity from the background. The volume in the evenings was often a bit loud, but the music was good. Occasionally someone would play their own CD's and most of the time that was OK with me, but not always.

Music, as an accompaniment for me as I am creating, must - generally speaking - be low to mid-volume and complementary to the mood of my piece. Otherwise, silence is, by far, the better option. Of course, I tend to whistle, hum and sing - depending upon my mood, so I must remember that others probably don't want to listen to my off-pitch musical noises...

Workshops with a group of artists working in the same studio space offer much by way of experience – with techniques, styles, color choices, designs, etc. They also offer opportunities to learn how to deal with other highly individualistic people – most of whom are strong minded and perhaps even strong willed. It seems to me that respect for one another’s space, personality, style, music, and more all must be learned and integrated during studio workshops.

My experience was wonderful – David’s deeply personal/spiritual approach to creating spontaneously, freely, with celebration was exactly what I needed to break out of my old, rigid style of work and to experiment with things I’d never considered previously. I didn’t at all mind any of the other students because I was so wrapped up in my own world of discovery that I only noticed others when I came up for air!

All that said & done, I would have to agree with those who have spoken in favor of individual head-phones for those who want/need to listen to music as they work. That way everyone can enjoy their favorite selections – or silence, if that is preferred. All without offending anyone or disrupting the flow of creativity as it winds its way in, out, around and through each participant. Just my humble opinion.

Mind you, when I am teaching (grad students), I select specific music to match the mood I want to set in the classroom. As the students arrive after a hectic workday for my night classes, I usually play soothing music with the sounds of nature in a mid-low volume. This seems to calm the students & to set the individual energy levels in good harmony.

It’s all a matter of opinion, isn’t it…

1 comment:

teri springer said...

Oh yes....working with David is so wonderful. He and Judy Hooworth did a lot for me in the past 2 years as did working with Melody Johnson.

I have to agree with you on the music....keep it low or none. I choose my music based on my mood or what I am working on. Most of David's music was just right for me that week at QSDS. My table partner, a former music teacher and classical musician was not as happy with it. I did try headphones and the CD player last year in Judy's class but I tend to forget I have the headphones on and get up or move around and, crash! there goes the CD player. This year I am in studio at QSDS so can play what I want to hear but, before I take a class again I am going to have to get an iPod. I don't want to subject others to what I am listening too....especially since I am currently into Zydeco and Techno-dance music when not listening to my new-age, jazz or classical.....